The US State Department’s newly released “Country Reports on Terrorism 2019” makes special note for the first time of an international white supremacist threat. The report states that the Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau last year “increased its efforts to combat racially or ethnically motivated terrorism (REMT). REMT, in particular white supremacist terrorism, continues to be a threat to the global community, with violence both on the rise and spreading geographically, as white supremacist and nativist movements and individuals increasingly target immigrants; Jewish, Muslim, and other religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex (LGBTI) individuals; governments; and other perceived enemies. The CT Bureau is working with our law enforcement and foreign partners to take concrete actions to address this growing threat.”
This April, the State Department designated a white supremacist group as a “foreign terrorist organization” for the first time—the Russian Imperial Movement, a czar-nostalgist outfit with a paramilitary wing called Imperial Legion that has been fighting on the side of the Donbas separatists in Ukraine.
Given that this report is released just as Trump is becoming more blatant than ever in his own espousal of white supremacy, we must ask if this is not another example of the “Deep State” (read: those elements of the bureaucracy not completely co-opted by his dictatorial agenda) acting independently of the White House—or even, as the deplorables love to fear, actually seeking to subvert it.
The report of course crows about progress in the battle against ISIS in 2019, noting the killing of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the fall of its “caliphate,” at least as far as control of territory is concerned. (Actually, the report rather distorts the facts here, stating: “[I]n March, the United States completed the destruction of the so-called ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria.” In reality, it was not the United States but US-backed Kurdish forces that defeated ISIS.) However, the report also finds that groups affiliated with ISIS or al-Qaeda have a growing presence in various other regions, pointing especially to the Sahel.
The report has been produced by the State Department every year since 2000.
Photo via Germ